Home Sport Soccer Crystal clear action from empty stadiums right here on my sofa

Crystal clear action from empty stadiums right here on my sofa

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One could sing the same praises for technology regarding Orlando Pirates’ Caf Cup commitments here at home and away

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Are we being overrun by the fourth industrial revolution? Or are we better off because of it, in view of the tentacles of this much talked about phenomenon which has made solid and trusted stuff like our football stadia seem obsolete in this day and age of high end technology?

This question might seem highfalutin to you but it is inspired by yours truly endlessly witnessing some of our teams in the Premier Soccer League playing (on the telly, of course) to almost empty stadia week in and week out without fail. OK, the opposite applies when the match in question features some really big name teams such as Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

‘Strue’s bob’ that is the order of the important teams as of today.

Take this particular match for instance that happened over the weekend. SuperSport United played Free State Stars somewhere in the country. Now for some reason when either of them play at their own home ground, the scenery on the stands always seems to be the same.

One sees lots of rows of vacant seats where supporters of either team ought to have made themselves unmissable performing the usual clownish act of either munching through a loaf of bread or a cabbage, or even with the holy book in hand, in some instances – pretty much the type of behaviour we have come to accept as standard for any good game.

But no. All one sees are the plastic rows of seats with no bums on them. To crown it all, you distinctly hear the broadcaster’s voice echo in the sound box as they deliver commentary on the match.

Now the usual thing with broadcast games is to hear some hullabaloo in the background, that is if we do not even factor in the blasts from the vuvuzelas.

Now, this match in question was in my mind fit to be patented as a sleep disorder cure. It was mind-numbingly boring. The goal, as it came, caught me off-guard. It came in the 89th minute by which time the sofa and the brunch had pampered me into a slumber.

The commotion coming over the telly alerted me that something must have happened on the pitch. The commentators were saying that SuperSport’s Mxolisi Macuphu had got his head to the ball and flicked it over the Stars keeper who was slightly off his line. With that, it was curtains for Stars’ narrow to nothing chance of digging themselves out of the PSL basement.

And then I could savour Macupu’s moment of brilliance even though I was not physically in the stands. Thanks to technology, I could participate as much as the ticket-bearer at the stadium.

One could sing the same praises for technology regarding Orlando Pirates’ Caf Cup commitments here at home and away.

At Orlando stadium this weekend we witnessed the Buccaneers struggle bravely against a very lively and light-footed FC Platinum of Zimbabwe.

One notes this type of stuff because the picture on the tube now comes with HD. Please don’t ask what that is, I just know you see stuff that was usually not visible. A thousand apologies if you are still on the boggelrug (hunchback) teevee.

But the point of it all is that due to this overwhelming availability of the live-streamed games do we really need oversized stadia that week after week struggles to attract sufficient followers?

Or is this reasoning ahead of its time?